Obamacare Preview; Question for Levine Cava
SDM heard an exciting story the other day about a young couple that decided to avoid getting married because as a couple their Obamacare premium and deductible would essentially bankrupt them. You see the young lady will be having a baby soon and her solo income allows her to apply for Medicaid, so the young couple is putting off marriage for a while.
Isn’t that just a wonderful American story? A baby born out of wedlock to avoid losing one’s shirt. Thankfully, she has access to Medicaid – a state run operation – so at least she has some “insurance.” And, Medicaid is such a success, right?
Well, take a look at our future in a story from today’s Miami Herald. If this story looks like a repeat, you are a careful reader of the fish wrapper. This is probably the 10th Miami Medicaid ripoff story SDM has read in the past five years.
Three Miami men charged with Medicare fraud are the latest of about 40 defendants who have been prosecuted for the alleged $190 million mental-health clinic scam carried out by the now-defunct American Therapeutic Corp.
A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted Roger Bergman, 64, Rodolfo Santaya, 54, and Nelson Rojas, 43, on charges of conspiring to commit Medicare fraud by filing false claims and related offenses during the previous decade.
Bergman, a licensed physician’s assistant, and Santaya, a patient recruiter, were each charged with conspiring to defraud the taxpayer-funded program for seniors. Rojas, the co-owner of a check-cashing store, was charged with conspiring to pay kickbacks to recruiters.
Since Miami-based American Therapeutic was shut down in October 2010, the Justice Department has convicted dozens of former employees and others who participated in the alleged scheme, including one-time CEO Lawrence Duran. He is serving a 50-year prison sentence.
Now doesn’t that just give you lots of warm fuzzies about the future of government-run health care?
For those of you out there who are jumping up and down and screaming “SDM, you are wrong. Obamacare is not government-run health care. The exchanges allow people to shop around for policies from private insurers.”
Well, if that is what you said, you would be partially correct. The health care exchanges have indeed enrolled people into private health insurance plans, though it is not clear just yet how many of those enrollees have actually paid their premiums.
But, the other function of the exchanges is to determine if enrollees qualify for the expanded benefits Obamacare requires of certain participating states. Obamacare has enrolled millions into expanded Medicaid programs, which according to Obamacarefacts.com, ” increase eligibility levels to 138% of the Federal Poverty Line ($23,550 for a family of four).” (The Florida legislature wisely opted out of expanding Medicaid.)
So guess what we are going to get with more Medicaid enrollees? Maybe some more insured people, though one has to wonder if we are just going to see cost shifting. But, certainly, we can expect more fraud and, sadly for us old fuddy duddies, more kids in single parent households.
SDM Says: You may want to ask commission candidate Daniella Levine Cava her views on this situation since her organization Catalyst Miami is an Obamacare navigator organization.